Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Climate guy on Rush's show today

I really enjoyed listing to Rush this morning with his interview with Roy Spencer, a climatologist who used to work at NASA.
RUSH:....the effect on global warming and the temperature on the earth, is precipitation. He's made a career of studying this. He also is not a global warming advocate. He thinks it's basically a hyped crisis. He also, for example, used to believe in evolution and has become an ardent believer of intelligent design combined with evolutionary things, because evolution does take place, but it doesn't explain Creation. Obviously, it can't. I'm just giving you a heads-up on who he is. He also said precipitation and clouds have been a great factor.

Dr. Spencer:....that the Earth has a natural air-conditioning process which occurs that is mainly through precipitation systems. Now, people will think, “Oh, well, you mean when they come by they cool off the air,” and that's not what I'm talking about. It's about the Earth's natural greenhouse effect which is mostly water vapor and clouds. The Earth has a natural greenhouse effect that keeps the surface of the Earth warm.

RUSH: Isn't it true that the majority of greenhouse gases do come from the sources you just mentioned, not man made sources?

DR. SPENCER: Well, yeah, that's true. Carbon dioxide is a relatively small part of the Earth's natural greenhouse effect. Now, the party line on this whole thing is that what we're doing is, with the increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, we're enhancing the greenhouse effect, and by now it's like about 1%. And since we're changing what's called the radiation budget of the Earth -- you know, like how much sunlight comes in and how much infrared radiation goes back out to space, since we're changing the radiation budget of the Earth -- the temperature has to change. This is the way you'll hear scientists explain the greenhouse effect. From a simple physics standpoint, it's a very attractive way of looking at climate change. There's a big problem with it, though. It makes it sound like the greenhouse effect is what determines the temperature of the Earth, and actually the truth is it's more the other way around. Given a certain amount of sunlight coming in, that is mostly absorbed at the surface of the Earth, weather processes happen which create the greenhouse effect because most of the greenhouse effect is from evaporated water which then turns into clouds, and of course water vapor is a strong greenhouse gas.

Here is the Global Cooling article in Newsweek from 1975 here.

The weather at EIB Southern Command here.

New Horizons photo of Ganymede


Shuttle rollback due to hail damage

I bet the external tank has to go back to Alabama for reprocessing the foam from NASA here.
NASA officials have decided to remove propellants that were loaded this week on Space Shuttle Atlantis before returning the spacecraft to the Vehicle Assembly Building. This work results in additional time at the pad, and rollback is now expected to occur Sunday or Monday.

Monday's severe thunderstorm with hail caused what could be 1,000 to 2,000 divots in the giant tank's foam insulation and minor surface damage to about 26 heat shield tiles on the shuttle's left wing.

Further evaluation of the tank is necessary to get an accurate accounting of foam damage and must be done in the Vehicle Assembly Building, where the entire tank can be more easily accessed.

Once an up-close look at the damage is complete, the type of repair required and the time needed for that work can be determined.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Shuttle crew dress rehearsal

On Friday the Atlantis crew did a dress rehearsal on the launch pad. They were performing emergency escape drills in full dress.
The full launch dress rehearsal known as the terminal countdown demonstration test wrapped up Friday at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Fla.

The prelaunch training ran the STS-117 mission astronauts through their paces as they practiced emergency evacuation procedures at the launch pad, checked out their flight gear, drove M-113 personnel carriers and attended safety and range briefings.

The launch is planned for March 15 to the ISS to install more solar arrays and trusses.

NASA's plan for Nutcases in space

From Huff Post here:

It turns out NASA has a detailed set of written procedures for dealing with a suicidal or psychotic astronaut in space. The documents, obtained this week by The Associated Press, say the astronaut's crewmates should bind his wrists and ankles with duct tape, tie him down with a bungee cord and inject him with tranquilizers if necessary.

"Talk with the patient while you are restraining him," the instructions say. "Explain what you are doing, and that you are using a restraint to ensure that he is safe."

The instructions do not spell out what happens after that. But NASA spokesman James Hartsfield said the space agency, a flight surgeon on the ground and the commander in space would decide on a case-by-case basis whether to abort the flight, in the case of the shuttle, or send the unhinged astronaut home, if the episode took place on the international space station.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Pray to the Goracle!

HT from LGF here:

Across the driveway in front of the hall, a large banner exhorted the crowd to "Heed the Goracle." Belonging to a fledgling group called ecoSanity, it was still there hours later, as Mr. Gore enjoyed a reception at the adjacent Simcoe Hall and the dispersing crowd voiced its praise.

"He's the prime minister we need in Canada," said Reid MacWilliam, who has been re-examining his entire life to make it more environmentally responsible.

Many attendees said that the speech closely mimicked the documentary An Inconvenient Truth, but they seemed pleased to listen to it again.

"You can't hear that message enough," said Shawn Omstead, attending with his daughter Meredith. "When we watched the movie, the next day we went and replaced all the light bulbs in the house . . . you see the movie and it sticks with you for a bit and then it fades."

"It was not our intention to have a religious approach," ecoSanity group founder Glenn MacIntosh said, "but it was our understanding that it was that kind of movement that people were craving; that kind of spiritual connection in their gut."

I'm sorry but my spiritual connection is with GOD, a true supreme being. Not with a looser like Gore. (Yes folks, Al Gore really lost the election in 2000. HEH!)
UPDATE: Here is the Invocation to Prayers to the Goracle. HT from Michelle Malkin.
Oh Great Goracle
(All praise be to Thee),
I here pray fervently.

Abide with me
in my 65 degree house.
Illuminate my soul
as I read by the light
of my 20 watt bulb.

Warm me with thy good cheer
as I bask in my cold shower.
Be the wind at my back
as I dutifully bike
20 miles to work.

I have been thy good servant
and done all, nay even more,
than Thou hast asked of me.
Surely I will be rewarded
with your blessings from on high
as you pass over
in your glorious Green Jet.

Oh Goracle (All praise be to Thee)
use your mighty powers
to insure that all we little people
will be forced to contribute
to the great cause of saving Earth
so we may all, each and every one,
suffer equally in this most worthy cause.

All this I ask in the name
of the Great Goracle,
saviour of our globe from the evil CO2.

Amen (or "Apersons" as you may prefer)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Were's the beef?

Now I can tell my kids no to McDonalds and cut down on our beef consumption!
Researchers at the University of Chicago compared the global warming impact of meat eaters with that of vegetarians and found that the average American diet – including all food processing steps – results in the annual production of an extra 1.5 tons of CO2-equivalent (in the form of all greenhouse gases) compared to a no-meat diet. Researchers Gidon Eshel and Pamela Martin concluded that dietary changes could make more difference than trading in a standard sedan for a more efficient hybrid car, which reduces annual CO2 emissions by roughly one ton a year.

"It doesn't have to be all the way to the extreme end of vegan," says Dr. Eshel, whose family raised beef cattle in Israel. "If you simply cut down from two burgers a week to one, you've already made a substantial difference."

Monday, February 19, 2007

Themis Launch a success

THEMIS, short for Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions During Substorms, marks the most spacecraft ever launched at one time for the space agency, NASA officials said.

The mission’s first probe – dubbed Probe A – popped free of its carriage about 73 minutes after launch as planned, with its four counterparts deploying like flower petals about three seconds later.

Each about the size of a dishwasher, the five 282-pound (128-kilogram) THEMIS probes are nearly identical and designed to track the origin of powerful geomagnetic substorms within the Earth’s magnetic field.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Hail Global Warming!

From the Boston Globe yesterday:
I would like to say we're at a point where global warming is impossible to deny. Let's just say that global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers, though one denies the past and the other denies the present and future.

Yes the Globe is warming, but to say MAN is the cause of it is ridiculous. And to say GW Deniers are like those who Holocaust deniers, what part of history are we forgetting? The GW supporters want wiped from the record that we had in the Middle ages a warming period. The Vikings found "Greenland" Green with vegetation.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

All she wanted was her man!

Astronaut Lisa M. Nowak, STS-121 mission specialist, dons a training version of the shuttle launch and entry suit, prior to an emergency egress training session in the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility at the Johnson Space Center.

Astronaut William A. (Bill) Oefelein, STS-116 pilot, moves through a hatch into Spacehab located in Space Shuttle Discovery's cargo bay during flight day two.

Here is an interview of Lisa Nowak last year.
The Robo Chicks on Mission 121 last July

Atlantis moved to VAB

NASA's space shuttle Atlantis completed a
milestone to move it one step closer to a targeted March launch.
Early Wednesday drivers moved Atlantis from the Orbiter Processing
Facility to the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA's Kennedy Space
Center in Florida. Atlantis, perched on top of the giant, 76-wheel
Crawler-Transporter, began its move at 6:19 a.m. EST. It arrived in
the Vehicle Assembly Building at 7:24 a.m.

In the assembly building, technicians will attach Atlantis to its
propulsion elements, an external fuel tank and twin solid rocket
boosters. Following those operations, final integration, preparations
and closeouts will begin in preparation for flight.

The next milestone for Atlantis is the 3.4-mile trip to Launch Pad 39A
in preparation for its 11-day mission, designated STS-117, to
continue construction of the International Space Station. The crew's
six astronauts will install a new truss segment, retract a set of
solar arrays and unfold a new set on the starboard side of the
station. Lessons learned from two previous missions will provide the
astronauts with new techniques and tools to perform their duties.

News media are invited to attend the rollout of Atlantis to the launch
pad, scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 14. First motion of the vehicle
out of the building is targeted for 7 a.m.

The crew roster is here.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

NASA Love triangle

Lisa Nowak one of the "Robo Chicks" from the Discovery July mission has been arrested on attempted kidnapping charges.
Nowak -- who was a mission specialist on a Space Shuttle Discovery flight last summer -- was wearing a trench coat and wig and had a knife, BB pistol, and latex gloves in her car, reports show. They also found diapers, which Nowak said she used so she wouldn't have to stop on the 1,000-mile drive. Reports show that after U.S. Air Force Capt. Colleen Shipman's flight arrived, Nowak followed her to the airport's Blue Lot for long-term parking, tried to get into Shipman's car and then doused her with pepper spray.

Nowak, 43, is charged with attempted kidnapping, battery, attempted vehicle burglary with battery and destruction of evidence. Police considered her such a danger that they requested she be held without bail in the Orange County Jail, reports show.

NASA statement here:
Statement Regarding the Status of Lisa Nowak

The following is a statement from Michael Coats, director of NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, regarding the status of astronaut Lisa Nowak.

"We are deeply saddened by this tragic event. The charges against Lisa Nowak are serious ones that must be decided by the judicial system. She is officially on 30-day leave and has been removed from flight status and all mission-related activities. We will continue to monitor developments in the case."

Saturday, February 03, 2007

ISS moved

Space station moves to avoid debris

MOSCOW, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- U.S. and Russian officials changed the International Space Station's orbit to keep it clear of debris from a satellite destroyed by China, a report says.

"We are diverting the orbit of the ISS to prevent a possible collision with large fragments of space debris, a decision the Russian Mission Control took together with the Johnson Space Center in Houston," a Russian Mission Control spokesman told Novosti Friday.

The spokesman said the debris did not threaten the space station, and that an anti-meteorite system protected it from smaller fragments.

China set off an international protest when it announced in January it had used a ground-based missile to hit one its aging weather satellites, Novosti reported.

The United States filed a diplomatic protest, Novosti said, because the weather satellite used approximately the same orbit as its spy satellites. Canada, Australia and Japan also objected.

Russian and U.S. space agencies were both tracking fragments from the weather satellite. U.S. officials said they were following 525 large fragments and had recorded between 500 and 600 instances of debris passing within three miles of orbiting satellites.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Sea Launch failure

From the Sea Launch press release:
Long Beach, Calif., February 1, 2007 – Following the unsuccessful launch of the NSS-8 spacecraft on January 30, and subsequent safing of all systems, Sea Launch is now in the process of securing the Odyssey Launch Platform and taking initial measures to determine the root cause and implement necessary corrective actions. Applications for all necessary permits and licenses required to proceed with these activities are also in process.

A preliminary assessment of the Odyssey Launch Platform indicates that, while it has sustained limited damage, the integrity and functionality of essential marine, communications and crew support systems remains intact. The vessel is operating on its own power and is currently manned by the full marine crew. This team is performing a comprehensive assessment of all aspects of the vessel, including its structural integrity and sea-worthiness, in anticipation of identifying and planning the next steps. The team on the Sea Launch Commander is in excellent condition and is supporting these activities. The Commander incurred no damage during yesterday’s launch attempt, as it was positioned four miles from the Launch Platform at the time of lift-off.

The Sea Launch partners will be conducting an independent investigation to review relevant data, determine root cause, and develop recommendations for corrective actions. In accordance with established procedures, Sea Launch is establishing a Failure Review Oversight Board (FROB) to review the partners’ findings, conclusions and recommendations. Kirk Pysher, vice president and chief systems engineer for Sea Launch, will chair this board. The main activity of the FROB will commence once the partner-led independent investigation is complete.

"We deeply regret the loss of the NSS-8 satellite, which was designed to be a significant part of the SES NEW SKIES fleet. We are receiving consistent expressions of confidence in our system and our team from our customers and the insurance community," said Rob Peckham, president of Sea Launch. "We have begun to discuss a plan for a Return to Flight.

"The safety of our people is our number one priority. The Sea Launch team is the best in the business and will continue to work diligently to understand the anomaly, identify the root cause and determine a corrective course of action. As we move forward, we are maintaining a positive, progressive mind-set and a dedication to excellence."

Sea Launch is an international launch service provider, based in Long Beach, Calif. Using a floating platform, one of two ocean-going vessels, Sea Launch lifts its Zenit-3SL rocket from a position on the equator at 154 degrees West Longitude. The Sea Launch partners include Boeing, RSC Energia, Aker ASA and SDO Yuzhnoye/PO Yuzhmash. For more information, please visit the Sea Launch web site at: We will continue to post updates on this site, as available.

From here:
Sea Launch spokeswoman Paula Korn said in a telephone interview Jan. 30 that the rocket appeared to have exploded as it was lifting off the platform. Korn said no one was injured in the accident – crew members are not aboard the platform during a launch -- and that all crew members were safe and accounted for aboard the command ship. Korn said a helicopter had been dispatched to the launch platform to make a damage assessment.

In a live video of the launch, the launch platform appeared to be enveloped in smoke – just as the picture went blank.

Sea Launch was scheduled to conduct a total of six commercial launches in 2007 including satellites still to be launched for Echostar, DirecTV, Intelsat, Spaceway and Thuraya.

NSS-8 was a Ku- and C-band commercial communications satellite that was to have been located at 57 degrees East longitude above the Indian Ocean to provide coverage of Europe, Africa, the Middle East, the Indian sub-continent and Asia, replacing the company’s NSS-703 satellite.

Rocket Blows Up

Oh poor SeaLaunch!

Space Shuttle Columbia Tribute

You Raise Me Up

Great Tribute to a fine crew!

Hail Columbia!

Four years ago today Columbia broke up on re-entry over Texas. Her crew was exceptional and bonded well together. Interesting facts about the Columbia here:
Columbia (OV-102), the first of NASA's orbiter fleet, was delivered to Kennedy Space Center in March 1979. Columbia initiated the Space Shuttle flight program when it lifted off Pad A in the Launch Complex 39 area at KSC on April 12, 1981. It proved the operational concept of a winged, reusable spaceship by successfully completing the Orbital Flight Test Program - missions STS-1 through STS-4.

Other, achievements for Columbia included the recovery of the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) satellite from orbit during mission STS-32 in January 1990, and the STS-40 Spacelab Life Sciences mission in June 1991 - the first manned Spacelab mission totally dedicated to human medical research.

Columbia was destroyed over east Texas on its landing descent to Kennedy Space Center on Feb. 1, 2003, at 8:59 a.m. EST at the conclusion of a microgravity research mission, STS-107.

Columbia was named after a small sailing vessel that operated out of Boston in 1792 and explored the mouth of the Columbia River. One of the first ships of the U.S. Navy to circumnavigate the globe was named Columbia. The command module for the Apollo 11 lunar mission was also named Columbia.

The Crew:

Commander Rick Husband

Pilot Willie McCool

Payload Commander Michael Anderson

Mission Specialist Kalpana Chawla

Mission Specialist David Brown

Mission Specialist Laurel Clark

Payload Specialist Ilan Ramon

Mission Archive here: